New Holland Existential: Hopwine | New Holland Brewing Company

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New Holland Existential: HopwineNew Holland Existential: Hopwine
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142 Ratings
New Holland Existential: HopwineNew Holland Existential: Hopwine

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by alexgash on 01-04-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 |  Reviews: 137
Photo of malibujohnny
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer doesn't come around here very often where i'm from.But since i'm a huge New Holland fan and mad hatter freak,I just had to try it.Poured a slightly cloudy amber orange with 1/4 inch head.The head disapated fairly quick but laced the glass nicely the whole way down.The smell insantly reminded me of Mad Hatter but stronger with the fruitiness and malt character.In the mouth...a explosion of hop variety that should satisfy any hophead with a nice malt balance.I thought with the 10.5% ABV it would not be what i wanted,well i was wrong.If this succulant DBL IPA was not 6.99 per bottle i would drink it more frequently.If you love a good double IPA,do not deny yourself this pleasure

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Existential...22 ounce bottle, 10.5% abv, tons of everything according to the label...

Hazed dark orange coloring, full 1/2 " creamy white head...
Citric hop aroma, pine resin, pineapple, ...brandy, candy, and cherry cough syrup...peaches and apricots....

Bing, bang, boom! This is a blast of hops into the mouth...a barrelling, blistering battering of bitterness onto the palate and all around the caverns of the mouth..
Full passage into the mouth, dripping juicy fruit and hop bitterness...then comes the pucker, the reaction to the overwhelming hop attack, the smash against the tongue, the explosion on the tastebuds...the scattering of flavors through the tops, the edges and the corners... there's no relenting and no remittance...
Every gulp and sip returns with the smack of grapefruit and orange, lemon and pine, that brings joy to these lips.

damned delicious, damned refreshing to these hop-addicted lips....yum...this is the stuff!

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Photo of joe1510
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber
Binny's Willowbrook

Existential Ale: Hopwine pours amber but glows a slightly hazy copper when held to the light.A nice dense two finger ivory head formed on the pour and as it fell left excellent lacing. The lowest the head fell was a half-finger cap. Good looking brew.

Smell is fairly mild. A big nose of caramel upfront and following through. Maybe even a hint of toffee. Grapefruit and a drop of orange come around in the middle. Tea leaf-like herbal hoppiness mixes in the aroma as well. Not bad but subdued for a "Hopwine".

Flavor begins with that very same caramel backbone that is strong upfront but fades as the hops come about. Some toffee in the flavor as well but the backend focuses on hops, mild but hops none-the-less. Tea leaf like hop bitterness along with just a squeeze or two of citrus on the finish. Good but not very exciting.

Good mouthfeel. The body is medium with a creamy frothiness that slides along rather easily. Carbonation is on the low side but works nicely.

The mouthfeel definately helps the drinkability but unfortuanately the smell and flavor drag it down. Not at all bad but nothing really stands out.

I was expecting something more from a so called "hopwine" but it didn't quite deliver. Actually it was a little low on the hops, the problem is, all I wanted was hops, that's why I bought a hopwine. A little less decieving of a name would make for a better brew.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

there's always the exception that proves the rule. Noted here as a DIPA, by my glass I'd say EBW meets Wheat Wine - the resulting blend gets mugged by hops and is bottled. I liked it.

A - Dark golden in color, nice thick white head.

S - Rich sweet biscuit malts cut with honey and bouyed with a citric undertone

T - Similar to the aroma but with an underlying sweet toasted grain feel at mid bottle.

M - full bodied, mild to medium carbonated. A warmth to the sip lets you know it's strong and a whomp of a hop glow lends a brashness that's appreciated.

D - Another relax in the evening and enjoy beer.

thanks to hoppymeal for this via the BW BIF 2.

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Photo of Vancer
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was one fine brew – it made for a fine Saturday evening of sippin and dippin’. By the end of the bottle I was a glowin'

Amber pour with sheets of lace sliding down the glass, the 10+% is keeping the head to a minimum.

I thought this was a BW at first, the sweet and resinous woody aspect through me for a loop, but the oily film brought me back to DIPA by the end. Maybe this is a cross between the two – the sweet caramel is more BW than DIPA. Freakin stuff was fruit juicy on top of the caramels.

Great fat daddy body, full and tasty. A fresh bottle of brew, I’d recommend grapping a few, I think the price was good too ( $6 a bomber).

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Photo of akorsak
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 65 cL bomber purchased at Capone's. I am drinking the ale from a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

A: The ale is an orange-brown color, closer I think to the orange side of the spectrum. The head exceeded 1.5 fingers and is lacing nicely thusfar in the glass.

S: The term hopwine is appropriate here. It conjures up a wheat or barleywine malt bomb met with big hops. The nose is hoppy but much more significantly it is matly. Thick to the point that the grains take on a tart grape-like flavor.

T: On first sip, the strong sweet malts almost overwhelm the palate. That sweetness is nicely cut by a strong hop flavor that fails to define itself as anything beyond bitter. The big malt flavors and hop bitterness can't distract the drinker from the alcohol warmth that sits just below the surface. That warmth is quite intense and not afraid to kick you around.

M: The mouthfeel is muddled with the big hops and big grains. Both flavor elements struggle to stand out and make an impression. The result is an interesting blend that never quite comes together.

D: The 10.5% abv is through the roof. That, coupled with the ill-defined body, makes me content to stop at one bottle.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Hate to say its amber…but it is. Really, simply, amber. The head is quite stunning; thick and creamy, looking like whipped butter perched on top of the brew.

S: Bubble gum, soap, caramel, butterscotch.

T: Begins sweet, almost cloying. Really malty, lot of caramel and butterscotch. Where the hell are the hops? It you put a hop on the bottle, you better have some hops in the beer. There’s a little bit around the tip of the tongue with a nip of bitterness, but not enough. Moves to a buttery trend wit minor apple and tropical sweetness.

M: Medium body and syrupy.

D: This in one boring beer. Not bad but quite boring. Seriously, listed as a double IPA? Don't you have to be an IPA before you can be listed as a double?

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Photo of Bighuge
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Tarnished amber/scarlet red. Slightly hazed. Thin off white head. A bubbly collar leaves sporadic patches of lace down the walls of my glass.

Aroma: Nice mix of malt and hops for this beer. It's got the nice caramel and toffeeish malt backbone. But also the resinous, smoky and piney hop aromatics. And some notes that remind me of orange marmalade as well.

Taste/MF: Nice complexitites here, though I'd still like to see some more hop flavors and bitterness for a beer of this style. They call this hop wine and I understand the "wine" part of it due to the noticeable alcohol character. And though the hops are there, and are piney, floral and perfumey, they are not there in the quantity that I like in an Imperial IPA. This is still quite a good beer (much better than the I2PA from Sprecher I had last night). The malts give a nice firm foundation of caramelized fruits and toffeish notes. The alcohol is noticeable, but integrated somewhat nicely given the 10+ octane level of this. Medium bodied and easy flowing.

Drinkability: This is a beer I'd try again. Especially if I saw it on tap. I'd know enough not to expect a hop bomb, but that's o.k. I'll look at this more as a Barleywine or Strong Ale.

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Photo of scott
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2


Dark copper sporting a nice medium-tight head and a fair amount of carbonation. Sweet aroma with slight citric notes, and gluttonous hops lurking down deep.
This is a bit too syrupy for this session, but it might be perfect for a cool Fall night. Truthfully, it doesn't taste like much of anything. The aroma fools you, and this tastes like a beer that is a little past its prime. It's not necessarily cloying, but lays heavy on the tongue with a semi-bitter finish.
Like all leery speculation, this really doesn't have much focus, due to the fact it falls short of being a barleywine or big IPA.
Normally, NH never does anything less than spectacular in my book, so I rather not to slam it. It is hard to appreciate this offering, though.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Substantial malt, with brown sugar gravitating toward a syrupy mouthfeel. Loads of hops, green and herbal with some rough saw-tooth edge at the finish. A touch of alchohol fusels lend a sharp punctuation to the back - high abv comes as no surprise here. Solid entry in the DIPA camp.

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Photo of oberon
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass a clear deep bronze/burnt orange with a large tight pillowey slight off white head that settled slowly leaving a nice ring around the glass.Wow very mild aromas for the style and tame for such a big beer I pick up some brown sugar and dark fruit with the hops being faint in a piney form.Flavors to me are no where near a American DIP to me its kind of in the English Barley Wine style with its big juicy maltiness but the hop presence in the finish makes me think American Barley Wine but not DIPA.Starts out very sweet like honey,brown sugar and alcohol dipped dark fruit not quite cloying but close,a drying resiny,piney hop lingers in the finish.If you were to categorize this as an American Barley Wine I would say okay I can see it but not DIPA.

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Photo of bditty187
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, bronzed peach with a coppery-gold influence, I even see a tickle of amber as well. I like the color. Off-white foam; thick and frothy, at the apex the head was only a half finger tall. However, the head retention was decent as the bubbles steadily faded to a soapy cap (and eventually a thin collar). Subsequent lacing was spotty and not very widespread. Still, overall, this is an attractive looking beer with plenty of color complexities.

The nose shows plenty of sweetness. The loudest aromas are the sweet/sour caramel apple notes, red grapes, raisins, and splash of tropical fruit. Muddled hoppiness, which I don’t care for; the mix of resin, pine, earth, and hints of citrus fight the apple aromas and clash with the caramel malt/brown sugar vibes. The conflict doesn’t work. IMO, the nose is too messy. Nothing standouts. The malt is vocal but it gets shouted out in the end. The more I smell it, the more “sugar” I detect. Moderate potency… the nose doesn’t do much for me. It really isn’t inviting, I’ll call it interesting. EDIT: After about halfway through the bottle the nose lost much of the muddled aromas but a nasty nail polish hotness arrived. No matter how I cut it the nose isn’t working for me.

Wow. Where did this come from? The palate has ample bitterness and a wonderful complex hoppy profile. Earthy undercurrents allow pine, spruce, hints of marijuana resin, and grapefruit rinds to shine. The caramel malt lands firmly in the middle, it is fairly hardy and firm. I am impressed. I’m surprised. The fruitiness is quite subtle and plays nicely with the other flavors. Much more bitter than I was expecting. While the alcohol is noticeable it is not too much. The toffee and brown sugar only add another layer of complexity. Clean ending, which works because there is a large amount of lingering hop flavors and bitterness. Much drier then the nose led on. The palate is really put together. The beer really suits my palate. This is a hoppy barleywine with true flavors of both a DIPA and a Barleywine. Well done!

Medium/medium-full in body, creamy, smooth carbonation; the mouthfeel fits this beer well. The mouthfeel instructs me to sip and savor (as does the palate). Sometimes I get mixed messages. Not so much here. Lovely.

Screw styles. Many DIPAs are damn near a barleywines and hoppy American barleywines are awfully close to a big DIPA. So, this beer bridges some imaginary gap. I’m sure some beer geeks will dislike this beer simply because it is a bastard ale. I for one love it. The aromas concerned me but the palate, mouthfeel, and drinkability shine. Speaking of drinkability, I am enjoying sipping and savoring every ounce. What a nightcap! The mix of bitter hops, rich hop flavors, sweet (but restrained) maltiness, fruitiness, and a clean (think not cloying) finish really makes this beer noteworthy, IMO. I am impressed. Thank you RedHaze!!

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was outstanding.... I was at the Lake Country Beer festival on Saturday and was lucky enough to try some before it was all gone. (From notes)

Nice sweet aroma with a nice hop touch in the nose. Very crisp with just a touch of hops to start with. I kept getting some fruit, almost like a prune sweetness but it wasn't too much. This was quite smooth and finishes very clean.

Very glad to give this one a try and would for sure recomend!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright amber body with a lush, bubbly off-white head.

Smell: Light, delicate aroma of caramel, green tea, and tangerines.

Taste: Sweet and somewhat grainy with the taste of caramel flanked by hop flavors of juicy tangerines and a sprinkling of pine needles. Finishes bittersweet and also resinous and soapy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Not really as hoppy as the front of the bottle led me to believe.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a hazy amber color. With a one inch head that recedes into nice lacing. The aroma is of grape fruit, passion fruit, with a strong underlying caramel sweetness. The taste is very sweet considering this is a DIPA. It is clear that this beer is very bitter, but its bitterness is overpowered by its sweetness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer, but there are so many better DIPAs out there that I cannot see myself buying this again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a light toasted-brown body that is crystal clear with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a thick spongy film that fades into a film pretty quickly.

S- This beer has a sweet caramel malt and sugary smell with a green hop note and a light citrus perfume note to it.

T- The sugary sweet caramel malt flavor has a note of sweet honey with a soft green hops flavor. There is an alcohol finish that is covered by the hop bitterness that hangs on after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a nice alcohol heat that is pretty smooth.

D- The biggest hops are on the label. In the bottle the hops are pretty soft compared to the sweet simple malt flavors. The bitterness of the hops is stronger than the flavor but both are lighter than I expect for an IPA.

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Photo of merlin48
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a hazed peach body with a three finger offwhite head that retains well and generously laces the snifter with loads of sticky lace.

Aroma begins with a sharply aggressive hoppiness. Grapefruit and lemon rind up front, with notes of pine resin soaked caramel. This smells thick.

Mouthfeel is quite full for style. Medium carbonation.

Taste is pleasantly complex. Lots of fruity citrus, mostly grapefruit. Hints of orange and lemon. Big chewy maltiness serves up a caramel backbone. Alcohol is disguised very well.

Substantial and meaty. A nice DIPA that is rewarding and challenging.

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Photo of trep
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into my De Rank stem'd snifter.

Orange honey hue with a 1" thick white head that leaves lacing as it fades. Looks pretty good. Super malty in the nose with a good bit of hops as well. Some alcohol and some citrus notes.

Initially very bitter from the hops, but the malt really comes through later on. Sweet as can be, caramel all the way through. Finishes with a white grape aftertaste.

Thick, syrupy body with low carbonation. Very smooth though, and not overly bitter like I would have suspected. I would say this is more of an english barleywine than double IPA. Pretty easy drinking considering the amount of alcohol, hops, and malt present.

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Photo of Onibubba
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Went in to this one thinking straight up DIPA. Dark amber pour, not as dark as 90 Minute or Stone 10th, but darker than a Ruination. Short beige head that doesn't stick around long. Nice smell, but not the overpowering hop bomb I was expecting - Much more subtle. There is a real balance of sweetness versus the hop bitterness, but from a beer with a huge "bud" artfully screened onto the bottle, balance is not what I wanted. Hops seem more resiny than citrusy in this one.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are OK. Carbonation is light, and this just slides down your throat, but the alcohol stops it from being a sipper. All and all, not a bad beer, but in a field of exceptional beers, you really need to stand out more. Not a repeat purchase.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer just didn't come together for me.

An IIPA needs to have big malt that is absolutely overwhelmed by even bigger hops, and that didn't happen here. The nose, for example, was a mix of really pretty muted citrusy hops, a lot of bready malt, and an overpowering blast of alcohol. The three were pretty much in balance with each other. The taste followed suit.

That could have been fine. After all, I generally gravitate towards more balanced beers. However, the malt component of this beer was really pretty boring. It tastes pretty much like straight domestic two-row. No flourishes from specialty malts, no interesting twists with the base malt . . . just straight barley. And, for my money, 'alcohol' in beer isn't a taste I particularly like. So, the malt is boring, and the alcohol makes up another third, so two-thirds of this beer is at best, pretty dull. As I said earlier, the hops weren't bad, but there really needed to be more of them with a base this boring.

The mouthfeel was really thick and rich. If this had been a better beer, I would have loved how it coated my mouth. As it is, meh.

The beer isn't a bad beer really . . . but it just isn't enough. IIPA is not a style that lends itself to words like 'balance' and 'subtlety'. If you are going to make a beer like that, why crank up the alcohol? Why not just make a balanced IPA or even an APA?

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't know about a hopwine. When I think of such terminology, I imagine the Avery 10 and 11's of the world; and especially Dogfish 120 Minute. This beer doesn't stand up to those larger-than-life beers. The beer begins with a promising pour: solidly copper and a firm, withstanding foamstand. Aromas of fresh fruit (apples, oranges, grapefruit, mangos, and appricots) swirl around hearty barley malts and obvious alcoholic presence. The flavors are a surprising balance of malts and hops. The citrus fruits stand up to the proclaimed hop additions and never waver. This keeps the beer from realizing the 'hopwine' promise. Despite the balance, this is a good heavy blend, but hendered by the higher, defiant alcohols -- fusals. All said and done, the beer is worth drinking and enjoying, but can't compete with so many other high-gavity IPA's.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle, 10.5 % ABV. Hazy copper color, with an off-white foamy head. Good retention for the size of the beer.

Nose is full of alcohol, fruits, including peaches, pine, and candy.

Malt jumps out at the front. Sticky, sweet caramel, seems to be cloying. The malt character seems to be pretty muddy, and overtakes things a bit. Not a great deal of hop bitterness or flavor. Fades into an earthy and dirty flavor.

Some warming from the alcohol. Medium body. Something just doesn't seem right. Seems a bit cloying.

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Photo of benito
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very challenging and hoppy barleywine, Existential is the latest High Gravity offering from New Holland.

Copper to dark amber in color with a little ring of head and virtually no visible carbonation. The aroma is unassuming: noteworthy only for its lack of distinction, yet it cloaks a beer chock full of flavor. Notes of cinnamon, pepper, and cotton candy with a bitter, celerial edge (strangely, the vegetal notes really work to complement the bitterness here!) and it finishes dry, quick and bitter.

The bitterness makes this deceptively drinkable for a barley wine, and the speed with which the flavors dissolve into a hop-dominated finish leaves me begging for more of the malty sweetness that began each swig.

A fine barleywine for winter, or in my case, summer enjoyment. Relative to New Holland's other high gravity brews, this isn't as distinguished as Pilgrim's Dole (a great beer), but it's at least as worth as Black Tulip

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Photo of blitz134
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy, light caramel body. Small white head on the pour. Reduced to a skim layer with a ring around the edge.

Syrupy sweet with caramel and candy, a touch of raw sugar. A good dose of hops with some pine sap and some floral and citrus hints as well, tropical fruit nuances.

Caramel malty body with a lot of bitterness over the top. The amount of malt balances it well but the hops and carbonation make this crisp and a bit bitter. Pine sap again, some herbal and floral notes. Super hoppy burps bring citrus and other sweet flavors back. A touch of alcohol, but nothing that detracts at all. I kind of agree with others who call this more of a barleywine, but with its hop level I think it falls into the strong ale category given its sugary and malty characteristics.

Mouthfeel is full and a touch syrupy. Coats the mouth and the flavor lingers. Carbonation is there and makes it tingly on the tongue.

This is a good beer throughout. Easy to drink given its size.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy dark caramel brown, with a one finger head that settles slowly to a soapy cap. The lacing is thick and very sticky, leaving large chunks of foam.

Smell; lots of caramel and toffee malts, with some cherries. As expected there's definitely a big hop presence with citrus and floral hops, but there's also a bit of a rubbing alcohol aroma that, while not really all that strong, is enough to detract from the aroma a bit..

Taste; very much hop dominated by the hops, with citrus a little pine and a touch of floral hops, but this also has a very big malt presence. There's caramel, toffee, molasses a little brown sugar and some cherries and dates as well. In the finish there's a spicy alcohol, but that wasn't at all surprising considering the very high ABV.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, almost syrupy, and despite the big alcohol content this goes down surprisingly easy. This tastes more like a hoppy barleywine than a double IPA to me, but who really cares how you classify it. This is a pretty darn good beer regardless. I'm happy to see New Holland try something like this.

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New Holland Existential: Hopwine from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 142 ratings